Wedding Cakes 101: The Superstition Almost Every Couple Abides By

...and how to flawlessly execute it yourself

Wedding Cake

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Who knew that wedding cakes—something so simple (and delicious)—could be so deeply rooted in tradition and superstition? Chances are that everyone from your baker to your parents has told you to be sure to save the top tier of your wedding cake—but has anyone told you why?

How to Preserve a Wedding Cake
 Alison Czinkota/Brides

The Story

Traditionally speaking, the top tier of the wedding cake is often saved and preserved to be eaten once again at one of two occasions—your one year anniversary, or your first child's christening (which often was within that first year of marriage). Why you may ask?

There are a few reasons that could explain this custom. First, there's the obvious symbolism of recycling a piece of your wedding into the celebration of your child. More commonly, there's sentiment and the superstition of good luck and prosperity that is believed to occur when couples enjoy a piece of their cake one year later. Others say it's simply a way to bring a literal piece of your wedding day into your lives again on a momentous, celebratory occasion. Regardless of reason or belief, many newlyweds are faced with the task of properly preserving their cakes.

How to Do It

To give your cake the best chance of staying fresh in the freezer for over 365 days, follow these tips carefully. (And when in doubt, use extra plastic wrap just in case.)

1. Immediately following the wedding, place (or have someone else place) the top tier of the cake in the freezer for a few hours to freeze the outer layer of icing.

2. Next, loosely wrap the entire cake with freezer-safe plastic wrap. Cover every inch of cake with plastic wrap, ensuring no piece remains exposed. This will help you to ward off the dreaded freezer burn.

3. Once wrapped, place the tier into a cake box (you can obtain these from a local craft store, or ask your baker to provide you one ahead of time.)

4. Wrap the cake box in the same plastic wrap to seal it from moisture, air, etc.

5. Finally, place the box in the back of the freezer for safekeeping.

Things to Consider

Remember that proper storage and preservation of your cake might not be on your mind on your wedding day, or the day after. We recommend putting a trusty bridesmaid or family member in charge of this task.

If you're planning on moving within the year, it may be best to ask your parents or your in-laws to keep this safe for you. By doing this, it will avoid a frazzled last-minute predicament. Trust us—moving is stressful enough.

If All Else Fails...

Does the idea of eating a year-old cake not appeal to you? Don't worry. If you choose to (or if your freezing methods fail you) contact your original bakery and ask them to bake you a small cake with the same flavor options as your original wedding cake. Then, celebrate your one year anniversary and dig in.

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